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The founder of Houser, the portal which launches to the public today and promises to list subscribing agents' inventories for free for five years, says he is developing an app which will allow smartphone users instant valuations of their properties.

Users will simply point their phone at a property, says founder Rocky Mirza, whose background is in acquiring and selling internet domains. The app software will then read the location of the phone and crawl the web for similar images or databases of local values. It will then give the user an instant valuation.

Mirza says he aims Houser to be "the largest depository of property inventory in the UK" thanks to a series of internet crawlers which will acquire images and details of homes on sale advertised on other sites, in addition to those uploaded by subscribing agents.

Although Mirza says he is an enthusiast of traditional agency - "there's no technology in the world that can replace a good agent" he insists - Houser will also accept listings from private sellers. He argues that Zillow, the hugely successful US portal, has been carrying For Sale By Owner details for many years, side by side with listings from mainstream realtors.

He promises that Houser will ultimately provide additional information for consumers - prices calculated as monthly mortgage payments, for example, along with 'success rates' of local estate agents including their charges and comparative rankings against rivals operating on the same patch.

Mirza says his pockets are deep and he could run Houser without revenue for two to three years, although potential income could come from tagging property images for further use, and by charging agents to be given additional prominence on the site.


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    Brian, I have tried again. I missed called one of my properties on this web site and shortly after received a Zoopla missed call email with my number on.

    • 14 January 2015 08:42 AM
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    or perhaps dialled ZPG, or a coincidence, as this is clearly a completely different business.

    • 13 January 2015 17:44 PM
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    Interesting, I just missed called this website and received a Zoopla missed call email with my number!!! obviously part of ZPG.

    • 13 January 2015 09:29 AM
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    They seem to have launched from out of nowhere and without the baggage and hype of OTM, which should actually help them. I have no idea if they'll work - my head says no, and the instant valuation smartphone app sounds ridiculously ambitious - but I'll reserve judgement for a little while longer.

    • 12 January 2015 17:06 PM
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    That's why I said 'if possible'. I have no idea how it will work or if it will actually work - it sounds like a very difficult and advanced bit of technology and I have no idea about how the instant valuation would be sought. Having said that, it's not totally beyond the realms of possibility. It doesn't sound likely, but they've got some funds behind them and they seem pretty confident - let's wait until they've actually failed before dismissing them, shall we

    • 12 January 2015 17:02 PM
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    Excellent news! I'm sure that these instant valuations will also be incredibly accurate, taking into account any structural defects, extensions, refurbishments, double glazing, loft conversions, garage conversions, damp, dry rot and all the other variables that affect individual house prices, yes No

    All these new and 'innovative' ways of trying to cut out estate agents just stink of laziness and would undoubtedly present more problems than solutions.

    • 12 January 2015 16:21 PM
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    Rob Davies said...."The instant house valuation app, if it's possible, is a clever and inventive idea."

    I refer you to Ray Evans comment. How can you possibly point a phone at a house to get an up to date valuation, perhaps you don't mind the phone taking over your job!

    • 12 January 2015 15:23 PM
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    In my view this seems ridiculous!
    A row of (say) a dozen terraced houses will have a dozen different prices. Valuations (Estimates) are individual.
    Pointing a 'phone at a house tells one nothing about the interior standard, decor, fittings etc - or am I missing something

    • 12 January 2015 15:05 PM
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    The smartphone app sounds interesting - but quite how it would work is another matter entirely. A similar technology to the QR codes Does anyone actually use them It all sounds very good, but the practicalities of making it work are a bit more difficult.

    • 12 January 2015 15:04 PM
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    The instant house valuation app, if it's possible, is a clever and inventive idea. I'm not sure how feasible it is or how many people would use it, but it's certainly something different. As for Houser, only time will tell. I can't say I know much about them - they appear to have launched with little fanfare, which could be a very shrewd move. Either way, it's too early to tell if they will be a success or not. They certainly seem to have some money behind them.

    • 12 January 2015 14:55 PM
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    Only one word should suffice - [b]joke[/b].

    Except it's anything but funny.

    What say YOU, Mr Shinerock Still wetting yourself over it

    • 12 January 2015 11:50 AM
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    Just had a look on there and there does seem to be lots of agents and properties listed, although I do wonder how many have given permission...

    • 12 January 2015 11:21 AM
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    Don't tell me, it's the same valuation algorithm as Zooplas
    Yet another tech guy who knows nothing about agency.

    • 12 January 2015 07:29 AM
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